BROOKLYN — A woman and her grandson were found shot in the head Tuesday in an apparent murder-suicide by the woman's husband, who turned the gun on himself, police sources and relatives said.
Alma Cox, 51, her grandson Jaquan Cox, 7, and David Sherrod, 44, who is believed to be Cox's husband, were discovered in a second-floor apartment at 749 Lafayette Ave. at 2:45 a.m. after cops received a 911 call about a "foul odor," police said.
Detectives suspect Sherrod shot and killed Alma Cox and the boy before shooting himself, police said.
"Words cannot express the deep sadness and hurt we feel as a family," the Cox family said in a statement Tuesday evening.
Sherrod and Cox worked together at the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation in Bedford-Stuyvesant, with Cox, a Bed-Stuy native, spending the last 18 years there as an executive assistant to the company's CEO, her boss said.
Jaquan Cox lived in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. with Alma's son Johnny Cox, who was a single father, the family said.
"Alma loved her grandson Jaquan," the Cox family said in the statement. "Jaquan and Alma were inseparable. He was a jovial child who loved telling his grandmother jokes and spending every school break with her."
In the statement, the Cox family described Alma as a hard worker who enjoyed organizing annual events and parties for the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation and had received awards for her work with the 79th Precinct Council and the Lions Club.
"She demonstrated her leadership and commitment to improving the quality of life of central Brooklyn residents," Cox's family said. "Alma was a fixture in the community.... Everyone that
knew her loved and respected her."
Barbara Peoples, 66, who lives next door to the Lafayette Avenue apartment, said Sherrod and Alma Cox hadn't been seen since a block party Saturday night.
"She was a very nice lady," Karen Mensah, 45, who lives nearby, said of Cox. "She ran the community-based organization, where she organized trips" to places like Rye Playland.
Cops found a .357 Ruger handgun inside the apartment. The investigation is ongoing, police said.
Sherrod, who did time for drugs and robbery charges back in 1988, was remembered by loved ones as a family man who was involved in the community.
"He was a good father, a good brother and was helping the young in the neighborhood turn their lives around," said Mark Sherrod, 54, David's brother, who added that he worked as a housing porter.
"It never seemed like he was into anything other than going to work, coming home and being with his wife."
Mark Sherrod said his younger brother had found a new life with the job.
"He got into trouble and tried to thank me for showing him the right way to go," he added. "He was proud of the job that he had and where he came from. He was happy with what he accomplished."
The violence discovered Tuesday shocked relatives and neighbors who saw the couple in happier times."
"When I saw them together, they was the most perfect couple," said Beatrice Finkley, 71, David Sherrod's aunt. "I never saw them argue."
Meanwhile, residents were terrified that, whatever the circumstances, the young boy fell victim to the shooting.
"It's scary, then a little boy too at that, that's very scary," said Jasmine, who lives in the building and declined to give her last name.